What are the two greatest commands? Jesus was asked this and gave us: #1 Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; #2 Love your neighbor as you love yourself…simple, straightforward, and not too complicated, right? It only becomes complicated because of how each of us defines the operative word in those commands, “love”. We can examine the root meaning from the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic language and try to parse out the definition, or, we can simply try to live out the word itself, as best we each know how. I like that idea and I hope you do, too.
The reason practical demonstration of living out love is encouraging to me is that this it’s the way we live everyday. We do what we love to do, or have to do because we love someone or something. People around us experience our passions, whether we intend them to or not. If we are in love with food, clothing, partying, our children, whatever, people will see it and its manifestations. It will be what we talk about, what we spend our time doing or planning to do. It would be highly unlikely for someone to say about a fellow, “yeah, he really loves his grandkids…” if the person didn’t have any grandkids, right? The obvious is so much fun because it’s easy! Our adult children show us what they learned from us as parents, by the way they live their life. The other day one of my sons saw my guitar and picked it up to play and stated he hadn’t touched one in several years. He began playing a song I wrote when he was a very young child, played quite a bit through his time at home, though I never taught him. As he worked though the chord progression I stated that I didn’t remember teaching him the song and that was pretty “stud” he could play it after so much time. He said to me the unforgettable words: “I remember it because I watched you play it, I liked it and wanted to play it because it was a good song.”
How did I feel? Warm fuzzies, at first…then it hit me afterward, I hope when he watched me do the important things in this temporary, earthly life that he wants to imitate the way I’ve lived my life because it’s a “good song” too. Time will reveal that. Wow, I’m getting more grateful every day that following Jesus is not complicated; sacrificial, yes, but not complicated. Two commands, one God, one Jesus, one Holy Spirit, one faith and only one life I can live at a time.